Tuesday, November 22, 2005

New Bird Flu Outbreaks Reported

China and Russia are reporting new outbreaks of bird flu, as Chinese officials approve the first clinical tests of a human bird flu vaccine.

In China, state media report new poultry cases of the deadly H5N1 form of the virus in the northwest regions of Xinjiang and Ningxia and southwest Yunnan province. Officials destroyed tens of thousands of birds on farms near where the dead poultry were found.

Russian officials say 250 wild swans have died from an H5-type bird flu in the Volga River delta.

Meanwhile, China's state food and drug administration said it has approved clinical tests for a human vaccine for bird flu. State media say initial reports show the vaccine is fairly safe and effective.

Earlier Tuesday, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States imposed temporary bans on poultry from the western Canadian province of British Columbia after bird flu was found in a duck there.

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